On March 30, 2021, my whole existence changed; I felt shattered, gutted, and hollow. I was numb and on fire at the same time. Everything that I considered reality had been flipped upside down and inside out. I had undergone tectonic changes and I had been concussed by grief and I didn’t even recognize it yet.
It’s IMPORTANT for me to say clearly that my personal faith kept me grounded – I felt sad but was never in despair; grieving deeply but never without hope.
Viktor Frankl, in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, saysthat we cannot avoid suffering, but we can choose how we deal with it and we can even find meaning in it. To a greater or lesser extent, we do have choices about how we react and continue to act even in the face of great loss.
Frankl believed that the purpose of life is to find meaning. In an effort to not waste this deep pain, I have embarked on a new search; a search for a fresh purpose and new meaning.
Grief confused what I knew and seemed to turn things upside down. Staying grounded in my faith and all I had learned through my extensive education empowered me to quickly return to my rational mind, feel comfortable there, and have confidence that I am reframing what I am feeling on a foundation of facts even as I recognize and honor my feelings. Though wildly painful, leaning into resilience has been powerful and it has, in many ways, helped me feel sane under insane conditions.
I'm still shaken to the core, but I'm able to continue being a good wife to my husband of 32 years, a present mother to my adult son (who is also mourning the loss of his sister and best friend), a doting grandmother to my new grandson, and a resourceful professor to my college students. I get overwhelmed, still feel raw some days, and sometimes need to step back to focus on my own needs through this process, but I'm encouraged.